Coping with Disappointment and Frustration

by Darcie
disappointed and frustrated couple

Logan and I were supposed to have our engagement pictures taken earlier this week, but the shoot got cancelled last minute because our photographer (who’s incredible by the way) ended up in the ER. We felt so terrible for her, and no part of sharing our experience is to express frustration towards her. We adore her and are so excited for her to document our love story.

That being said, I wanted to write this article to share the disappointing and frustrating experience that taking these photos has been. For starters, this was not our first time having to reschedule, but our fourth.

San Diego has had an abnormally high amount of rain this winter. Southern California has been a drought for a while now and the rain is very much needed, but it’s been an impediment to shooting our photos for nearly two months.

It was made all the worse by the preparations that I’ve done to get ready for the shoot. Last Saturday I got my hair and nails done. These are things I don’t normally indulge in, except once every few months, so it was a treat for me.

I’d been waiting to get my roots touched up until right before our shoot. I wanted my hair to look as fresh as possible.

Guys, you may be thinking “Okay… what’s the big deal?” But as many girls know, getting your hair colored is not cheap.

I went to a new stylist last weekend and asked her to highlight my roots to match the current color of my hair. She said she understood.

But then she used a toner on my whole head of hair and it made all my hair a much darker shade of blond than when I first went in. She attempted to fix it, but it still wasn’t right.

(I’ve since heard from hair stylists the reason for using a toner, but up until this point, my hair hadn’t been treated with one, so it really caught me off guard.)

A day later and the night before our engagement shoot was scheduled, I drove 45 minutes (after working a full day of seeing clients at my job as a psychotherapist) to the stylist I’ve been going to for years for her to hopefully fix my hair. And she did – yay! I was so relieved, and it looked just how I wanted it too.

The next morning, though, I got a message from our photographer telling us she wasn’t feeling well. She expressed how she didn’t want us to have to reschedule for a fourth time.

I let Logan know and told him I was going ahead with my hair and makeup appointments, feeling hopeful it would be nothing serious, and she’d be able to do our shoot still. (She’d told us that was her hope.)

Just when my hair and makeup was being finished, I got a text from her saying she was still at the ER and couldn’t do our shoot. Logan walked through the front door shortly after and I told him the news.

Of course Logan and I understood. We both felt SO terrible for her ordeal and told her we’d reschedule when she’s feeling better.

And that’s where we’re at now.

I don’t know when we’ll take our photos because more rain is expected in the next week, and then I’m heading to Bali with my mom to meet with our wedding planner.

To be clear, I’m not sharing this experience because I’m seeking sympathy. Similarly, I recognize that this is a total first-world problem.

But we all have our own struggles, and every single person is allowed to feel how they feel. Disappointment and frustration are real, and it’s completely okay to feel and express those emotions.

At the same time, Logan and I didn’t want to get stuck in these feelings, and here’s what we did to avoid that.

Disappointment and frustration are okay.

As I mentioned earlier, we’ve been anticipating having our engagement photos taken for a while now, so it was completely normal for us to feel disappointed and frustrated.

The same goes for my botched hair. I think it was perfectly valid to be upset that I didn’t get the results I’d asked for.

Instead of telling me my hair was a silly thing to be upset about, Logan asked what I needed – wine, a vanilla latte, or chocolate-covered raisins (a few of my favorite comfort food/drinks)?

He was right: I need to practice self-care/self-love and do something that would make me feel better. I got a vanilla latte and it did make me feel a little better.

Was I still frustrated and disappointed? Yes… but indulging in something I enjoyed lessened the intensity of my emotions.  

Victim mentality is not okay.

When a series of bad things happen, it can be tempting to adopt a victim mentality where “why me?” is the question you continue to ask yourself. You may even wonder if the universe or God is conspiring against you.

At one point I realized I was starting to lean that way, saying “our engagement session is cursed.” And yeah, it kinda felt that way. It felt like when we overcame one barrier (rescheduling because of the rain), another one arose (rescheduling again because of rain, then my hair color, etc.). I felt defeated.

But staying in the problem was not going to change anything except continue to make me feel miserable.

After the shoot was called off, Logan and I asked each other: what should we do now?

Considering I had a full face of makeup and gorgeous braids in my hair, I wanted to go to the beach for a drink, apps, and the sunset. However, it was a little early for happy hour, and Logan doesn’t drink, so he wasn’t too into my idea.

Logan suggested we use a Groupon he had purchased several months ago for the shooting range. Not thinking of another viable alternative right then, I agreed.

Initially I wasn’t super excited to go since I’d only shot a gun once prior and it was over 10 years ago.

I didn’t want the added “stress” of basically trying something new. And, Logan told me, I’d have to take a safety quiz beforehand. *hand to forehead emoji.

But once I was there, I had a really good time.

darcie at shooting range

I even hit the bullseye twice!

shooting range

Afterwards we went to our favorite sushi spot, and I ordered a lycheetini – one of my fave cocktails. 

Because we were able to get out of dwelling on the problem, we were able to think of a fun solution. (Admittedly, though, I have to give most of the credit to Logan.)

Keep it in perspective.

With everything in life, perspective is essential to avoid getting hung up on the problem.

We all have our struggles, and big or small, they are worthy of empathy. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize that we are still very blessed, and “this too shall pass.”

I cried over my hair, and my frustration was valid. But at the end of the day, it’s only hair and it was fixable.

Rescheduling our engagement photo shoot several times is annoying and inconvenient, but nothing bad has happened to us because of it. Really, we were more concerned for our photographer, who was having a medical emergency.

And, as many people have told me, it makes for a great story.

Find the lesson.

When I was getting my hair done, my stylist Jordan shared this quote by Rachel Hollis:

“What if the hard stuff, the amazing stuff, the love, the joy, the hope, the fear, the weird stuff, the funny stuff, the stuff that takes you so low you’re lying on the floor crying and thinking, How did I get here? . . . What if none of it is happening to you? What if all of it is happening for you?”

Whether you believe in God, the universe, or something else, it can help to think that there’s a reason why something happened or didn’t happen. A silver lining if you will.

We may not always know right away, but in many cases, down the road we are able to see how something in our lives worked out better than we had planned or hoped for.

Our photos will get taken eventually. And I know they will be beautiful and will hold deep meaning for us.

darcie and logan

Logan and I are engaged, and we have each other through the good, the bad, the frustrating, and the disappointing. We are both pursuing our passions and grateful for our health. That’s what matters most, because when we inevitably experience disappointment and frustration in the future, we have each other to lean on to get through it.

How have you coped with disappointment and frustration? I’d love to hear your tips, tricks, and stories below.

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